It took the National Hockey League until 1979 to make helmets obligatory for new players. Veteran players might still choose whether or not to wear one. After being transferred to Toronto in 1960, defensive great Red Kelly became the most vocal supporter of the use of helmets during games. In an interview with The New York Times, he said "A guy can take just so much punishment without wearing a helmet." Teammates Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay also urged their old friend to wear one.
Helmets are now mandatory in Canada and in international competitions. However, some national teams (such as the United States) remain helmet-free.
The first NHL player to wear a helmet was Frank Brimsek of the Chicago Black Hawks. He had been injured during a game on October 11, 1979, and decided to continue playing despite suffering from dizziness and headaches due to a skull fracture. The next day at a press conference, Brimsek announced that he would never again remove his helmet during play.
In 1980, research conducted by the NHL revealed that almost all head injuries occur while players are making checks or fighting with their opponents. This led team doctors to recommend that players avoid taking blows to the head. As a result, helmets became standard equipment in the NHL.
Helmets became necessary in the NHL four decades ago. Any player who entered the league after June 1, 1979 was required to wear a helmet, but any player who signed his first professional contract before to that date may opt out by signing a waiver. In the early years of the league, many players chose not to wear helmets.
In fact, during the first season (1922-23) there were only nine deaths among 1,124 players involved in 2,016 games. The last death before the requirement came into effect was that of Eddie McGrath in 1946. Since then, there have been no more fatalities.
However, there have been several cases of severe brain injury and/or death due to effects of repeated impacts to the head over the course of a career. Such cases include Dave "Tiger" Williams, Rick Martin, Chris Kontos, and Paul Brouillard.
Players can be fined by their team for not wearing a helmet, but it has never been an issue since the requirement went into effect.
The reason why nobody had been killed before this requirement was put in place is because players were mainly made up of hardy individuals who were used to playing football in college where there were no rules regarding protective gear.
Seeing a player without a helmet in 1989 was as odd as seeing a player without a visor now. In this case, the club is responsible for providing the player with an adequate helmet.
In 1970, the NHL made helmets mandatory for players of all ages. At first, they were only required to be manufactured according to standards set by the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA). However, in 2005, the NHL changed its policy and now licenses specific manufacturers who produce the equipment.
The original purpose of the helmet was to prevent players' brains from being injured by checks thrown or batted at high speeds against the side of the head. The risk of injury from such blows is increased because there are no bones protecting the brain inside the skull.
Today's helmets are designed to protect players from other types of injuries as well. For example, a player may suffer a concussion during a fight with another player. The helmet can reduce the severity of this type of injury by absorbing some of the blow. A helmet must be worn when playing ice hockey or inline skating. If a player removes his/her helmet during play, then it is a penalty.
By the way, the first hockey helmet was invented in 1927 by Barney Stanley, whose prototype was rejected by the NHL. Due to serious accidents among players, some league players began wearing helmets periodically in 1933. The Montreal Canadiens were the first team to make helmets mandatory for their players, and they did so beginning in 1936-37.
Barney Stanley is also known as the father of the ice hockey helmet. His design was not accepted by the NHL at first, but it proved to be a better product than what had come before it. From then on, helmets became standard equipment for ice hockey players all over the world.
Ice hockey is a contact sport. It is important that players protect themselves from injury, especially since modern armor has been developed for athletes who play other sports such as football and baseball. In addition, ice hockey players use their heads as weapons when fighting for the puck, so it makes sense that they would want to protect them.
There are several reasons why ice hockey players started using helmets. One reason is that when you hit your head against the ice or another player's helmet, this can cause injuries that might not happen if you were only playing face-up. A head injury can be very dangerous if you're not careful.
1979 They were finally declared required by the NHL in 1979. However, players with sufficient league experience at the time were permitted to continue playing helmetless. As a result, Craig MacTavish played the final NHL game without a helmet in 1997.
Visors have been mandatory in the KHL since that league's founding in 2009. However, many older players who had their careers cut short due to injuries do not wear them because they are considered unnecessary by the KHL.
There has never been a lawsuit against an NHL team for injuries caused by a player who did not wear a helmet. But in 1990, the NHL and its teams agreed to a settlement worth $60 million today after another lawsuit was filed by the family of a young hockey player from Minnesota who died during a practice run. The player was not wearing a helmet and suffered a severe head injury when he hit the ice.
The NHL decided not to sue because it wanted to keep the case out of court and away from public attention. The league also wanted to send a message to youth hockey players that helmets are necessary if you're going to play this sport at a high level.
In conclusion, the NHL began requiring helmets in 1979. Previous to this no one was required to wear one but many players chose to anyway.
Following his initiative, numerous officials followed suit, and beginning with the 2006-07 NHL season, all NHL on-ice officials were required to wear helmets. Prior to that time, they were allowed but not required to do so.
In addition to improving vision for making calls, helmets also provide protection for the head in case of a collision. A study conducted by the National Hockey League (NHL) found that referees are at least as likely as players to be injured on the ice, probably due to multiple hits to the head over the course of a game. The most common injury reported by referees is a cut or bruise on the hand or arm; others report knee injuries, concussions, and eye problems.
There have been attempts to get officials to use protective equipment throughout hockey history. As early as 1950, pressure from players' unions forced the NHL to allow officials to choose whether or not to wear helmets. At the time, gloves were mandatory for players, but only suggested for referees. In 1991, after several high-profile incidents including one where then-refereeing leader Bill McCreary was struck in the head with an errant puck and suffered post-concussion syndrome, the rule was changed to require helmet usage for all officials.